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The Boy Allies with the Victorious Fleets - The Fall of the German Navy
by Robert L. Drake
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"We're wasting too much time here," Frank told himself.

He looked across to where Lieutenant Hetherton and his men were also blazing away at the foe.

"Forward men!" cried Frank suddenly. "Charge!"

The British tars under Frank's command went forward with a wild yell. Seeing their companions dashing across the open, the forces commanded by Lieutenant Hetherton and the sailor Hennessy also broke from the trees and charged.

The Germans poured several sharp volleys into the attackers, then threw down their arms.

"Kamerad! Kamerad!" came the cry.

"Cease firing!" Frank shouted.

Silence reigned after the noise of the battle.

"Take charge of those men, Mr. Hetherton," said Frank quietly, "but be careful how you approach. I don't trust 'em. I'll keep 'em covered."

Lieutenant Hetherton ordered his men to make prisoners of the Germans.

There came a sudden interruption.

The three Germans who had been in the cabin, as though by a prearranged plan, suddenly dashed back into the little building and flung to the door before they could be stopped.

"Never mind," said Frank, "remove the others, Mr. Hetherton. We'll attend to the men inside later."

From the window of the cabin there came a sharp crack. A bullet zipped by Frank's ear, but the lad did not flinch. He moved his position and saw the German prisoners marched to the rear.

"Now," he said, "we'll have to get those fellows inside. First, however, we'll give them a chance."

He raised his voice in a shout.

"What do you want?" came the response from the cabin.

"You are outnumbered ten to one," said Frank. "Come out and surrender. We don't want to kill you."

"Come and take us," was the sneering response.

"Don't be fools," called Frank. "We're sure to get you."

"Well, I'll get you first," came a sharp cry.

Frank stepped back and none too quickly, for a bullet passed through the space where his head had been a moment before.

"If you must have it, all right," the lad muttered. He turned to his men. "I want ten volunteers to go with me," he said quietly.

Every man stepped forward.

Frank smiled.

"Sorry I can't use you all, men," he said. "But ten will be enough. Gregory, step forward."

A sailor a short distance away did so.

"Now, Gregory," said Frank, "you pick nine more men and bring them here."

This was the work of only a moment, and the men surrounded Frank. For a moment the lad surveyed the cabin. They were now out of the line of fire from the window on that side and consequently safe. It would be possible, Frank knew, to tire the Germans out, but he had no mind for such slow methods. He addressed his men.

"Two of you," he said, "break in the door with your rifle butts. We'll cover you from either side."

Two men stepped forward and the others stationed themselves on either side of the stout door. Frank called to Lieutenant Hetherton.

"Guard all the windows," he shouted. "Don't let them get away."

The door began to tremble under the blows of the two sailors. Directly there was a crash as it fell inward.

Now, although this had been no part of Frank's plans, the minute the door crashed in, the two sailors reversed their rifles and sprang over the threshold.

"Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!"

The rifles of the three Germans within and the two British sailors spoke almost as one. One of the tars crumpled up in the doorway, while one of the Germans also threw up his hands and slid to the floor.

With wild shouts of anger, the other sailors surged forward and poured through the door in spite of German bullets, which now flew so fast that accurate aim was impossible.

Frank dashed forward with the others. Down went the second German, leaving but one alive. Frank found himself face to face with the latter.

"Stand back, men," he called.

The sailors obeyed.

In one hand the German gripped a revolver, but Frank held this arm with his left hand and straightened it high above the German's head. Thus the German was unable to bring his revolver to bear on the lad.

Nevertheless, his left arm was still free, and he struck Frank a heavy blow in the stomach with his fist. The pain was severe and Frank loosened his hold on the man's revolver arm. With a cry of triumph, the German deliberately lowered his revolver.

Frank, having dropped one of his revolvers, was in a bad way. True, a second was in his belt, but it did not appear that he had time to draw and fire before the German's finger pressed the trigger.

But now came an action on the lad's part that proved his right to be called an expert with the revolver—an action that often had bewildered Jack and aroused his envy.

So quickly that the eye could not follow the movement, Frank dropped his hand to his belt, whipped out his revolver, and without taking aim, fired.

A fraction of a second later there was a second report, as the German, with Frank's bullet already in his shoulder, pressed the trigger, almost involuntarily. But ere he fired, Frank had dropped to the floor and the bullet passed harmlessly overhead.

Frank rose quietly.

"Bind him men," he said simply. "He's not badly hurt. He'll probably live to face the gallows. Where is young Cutlip? Has anyone seen the boy?"

"Here he is, sir," answered the boy himself, and came forward. "And will you release my father now, sir?"

"As soon as we return to the ship," replied Frank. "Come, men."



CHAPTER XXI

THE END OF THE SUBMARINE

Frank now took account of his casualties. Five men had been killed and twenty more or less seriously wounded. As many more nursed slight injuries.

The enemy's casualties, proportionately, had been more severe. Half of the original number were stretched on the ground. Hardly a man of the others but had been wounded.

Frank had his dead made ready for transportation back to the Essex, and litters were improvised for the wounded who were unable to walk. The grounded Germans also were carried—that is, those of them who were so severely hurt they could not walk. Those who could walk were surrounded by the British and marched on ahead.

The return trip was made without incident. The wounded were hurried aboard the ship where their injuries could be attended to. The unwounded prisoners were promptly locked up below with the other captives. Then Frank and Jack, accompanied by young Cutlip, went to Jack's cabin. The third officer held the bridge.

Frank gave an account of the events of the night as briefly as possible. When he had concluded, Cutlip again asked:

"Will you release my father now, sir?"

"Certainly," said Jack. "You have borne yourself right bravely, and we have much to thank you for, as has your country. It is too bad that your father is not of a different stripe."

The boy's face flushed.

"He's a good father in many ways, sir," he said, "but he seems to be scared to death of the Germans, especially of their submarine boats."

"We'll have him up here before we let him go," said Jack. "Mr. Hetherton, pass the word to have; Cutlip brought to my cabin."

Lieutenant Hetherton left the cabin. He returned a few moments later accompanied by two sailors, who walked on either side of the older Cutlip. The man was still bound.

"Remove his bonds," Jack instructed.

Cutlip's hands were released, and he rubbed them together as he eyed the group in the cabin. His eyes rested on his son.

"So!" he exclaimed, "I had an idea you were at the bottom of this."

"But, father—" began the boy.

"I'll attend to you later," said the father, "not that I'll have need to, probably, for the Germans will attend to both of us. What ails you, anyhow? Don't you know that the Germans eventually will be masters of the world? If we stand in with them, it may help."

"The Germans will never be masters of the world," said Jack. "You are laboring under a delusion, Cutlip. Your son is a brave boy. Not only did he warn us of the presence of a German submarine off the coast, but he rendered such other assistance that the entire crew has been either killed or captured."

Cutlip showed his surprise.

"You can't mean it!" he exclaimed. "Why, how could you overcome them. They are supermen. Ever since the war started I have been reading about them. They are wonderful fighters—marvelous."

"Your trouble, Cutlip," said Frank, "is that you have read too much about them. I know that the country has been flooded with German propaganda, but I'd no idea it had affected anyone like that."

"But—" Cutlip began.

Jack silenced him with a gesture.

"You'll have to change all your ideas now, Cutlip," he said. "You see that the German is not a superman. We have beaten them. Besides, your country is at war with Germany. Only a traitor, or a coward, would refuse to help his country."

Cutlip seemed a bit startled.

"I guess that's true," he said at last. "Yes, I guess you're right."

"You and your son had better remain aboard until morning," Jack continued. "We'll put you both ashore then."

"Jack," said Frank at this point, "don't you think we should make an effort to destroy the submarine before we go?"

"By George! We certainly should," declared Jack. "That had slipped my mind for the moment. We'll have one of the captured officers up and see if he will reveal its hiding place."

One of the Germans—a petty officer—entered the cabin a moment later in response to Jack's summons. Jack explained briefly what he wanted.

"Tell you? Of course I won't tell you," said the young officer. "Why should I? Do you think I am a traitor to my country, or a coward?"

Jack shrugged.

"I was just offering the opportunity," he said.

The officer was removed and one of the men brought in. Jack quizzed him with no better results. One after another the unwounded men were questioned, but none would reveal the location of the submarine.

"Looks like we would have to find it ourselves," said Jack at length. "There is no use questioning any of the others. They won't tell."

Assistance came from an unexpected source.

"Maybe I can help out a bit," said the elder Cutlip quietly.

Jack, Frank and Lieutenant Hetherton looked at him in surprise.

"You mean that you know and will tell?" asked Frank.

"I do. You have made my duty plain to me. No longer am I afraid of the Germans."

"How do you come to know this hiding place?" asked Jack.

"I discovered it to-day by accident. I was standing some distance back on shore when I saw the vessel lying on the water."

"How far from here?"

"Just the other side of the reef."

Jack whistled.

"By Jove! We came awfully close," he said.

"You did indeed," said Cutlip. "But for the reef you must have been discovered. Fortunately, it is very high."

"I suppose the U-Boat is on the surface at this moment," Frank interjected.

"Most likely," Hetherton agreed. "A small crew has probably been left on board, and they more than likely are awaiting the return of their comrades."

"Strange they didn't hear the firing," said Frank.

"Not at all," said Jack. "I heard none of it here."

"The wind was blowing the wrong way," Hetherton explained.

"That must be the answer," Frank admitted. "Well, Jack, what do you say? Shall we make an effort to get the boat to-night?" Jack hesitated.

"We may as well," he said at last. "Of course it will have to be taken from the land, for we can't work the destroyer around the reef in the darkness. Even if we got around safely, we should be discovered."

"Right," said Frank. "Then let's be moving. I take it, however, we will need boats to reach the submarine."

"Our prisoners probably have left all the boats we need," Jack returned.

"That's so," said Frank. "Funny I didn't think of that. Will you be our guide, Cutlip?"

"Glad to be," was the reply. "I want to redeem myself in some way."

"Let's be moving, then," said Frank, starting for the door.

"Hold on," said Jack "We've got to take a force with us, you know. Mr. Hetherton, I'm going to leave you in command of the ship this time. I shall command the shore party."

Lieutenant Hetherton's face fell, but all he said was:

"Very well, sir."

"In the meantime," said Jack, "pick fifty men and set them ashore. We'll be there directly."

Lieutenant Hetherton saluted and left the cabin.

Half an hour later Jack led his men around the reef. There, a scant hundred yards from shore, lay the submarine. The little party moved silently to the edge of the water, and as silently embarked in the half a dozen small boats they found there.

"Push off!" Jack commanded in a whisper.

Now young Cutlip had been left behind, but the father had elected to go with the men in the boats. So earnest was his plea that Jack did not have the heart to refuse him.

A dim light showed on the bow of the submarine as the little flotilla approached; and then so suddenly that the night appeared to be lighted up by magic, a flare of white made the boats approaching the submarine as plain as day.

The submarine's searchlight had been turned on them.

"Down men," cried Jack.

The men, or those of them who were not needed at the oars, dropped to the bottom of the boats. But the distance was so close that those on board were able to make out the fact that the boats approaching were not filled with their own men.

"Americans!" was the cry that carried across the water. "Man the forward gun there!"

"Fire, men!" cried Jack in a loud voice. "Sweep the deck with your rifles. Don't let 'em bring that gun to bear."

There was a crash of rifles as Jack's command was obeyed. Nevertheless the Germans succeeded in training their rapid-firer, and it crashed out a moment later. A veritable hail of bullets flew over Jack's men.

At a quick command from the lads, the boats drew farther apart, thus making the task of the enemy more difficult. Then they closed in on the submarine from both sides.

Harsh German cries and imprecations were wafted to the ears of the British as the boats drew closer.

"Submerge!" shouted a voice.

"Quick, or we shall be too late," Jack roared.

The men at the oars exerted themselves to further efforts. Then Jack caught another cry from the submarine.

"We can't submerge. The tanks are still broken."

"Good!" said Jack to himself. "Now I see what the trouble is. Faster," he cried to his men.

"Quick," came a voice from the submarine, "we cannot let the ship fall into the hands of the accursed Yankees. The fuse, man."

Jack understood this well enough. He raised his voice in a shout:

"Cease rowing!"

Frank's voice repeated the command and the little flotilla advanced no more.

"Put about and make for shore," shouted Jack. "Quick."

The order was obeyed without question, and it was well that it was. Hardly had the boats reached the shore when there was a terrific explosion, and the water kicked up an angry geyser.

"And that," said Jack calmly, "is the end of the submarine. They've blown her up—and themselves with her!"



CHAPTER XXII

WASHINGTON AGAIN

Early the following morning the Essex slipped from her little harbor and put to sea. Cutlip and his son, who had been put ashore shortly before the departure, stood at the edge of the water and waved farewell. Following the father's conversion, he and his son seemed to be closer than before, and they went away happily together.

Jack descended to the radio room.

"Get the Dakota for me," he instructed the operator.

"Dakota! Dakota!" flashed the wireless.

Ten minutes later the answer came.

"Destroyer Essex," flashed the operator again, following Jack's direction. "Submarine reported to me yesterday destroyed. Crew either killed or captured."

"Fine work, Templeton," was the reply flashed back a few moments later.

"I'm awaiting instructions," Jack flashed.

"Proceed to Newport News," came the answer, "and report in person to Secretary of the Navy."

"O.K." flashed the operator.

Jack went to the bridge, where Frank was on watch.

"Well, old fellow," said Jack, "I guess our present cruise is ended."

"How's that?" asked Frank.

"We're ordered back to Newport News, and I must report to Secretary Daniels."

"And after that, England again, I suppose?"

"I suppose so."

"Too bad," said Frank, "I would like to have had time to go to New York and Boston to see my father. He could have met me at either place."

"You'll see him when the war's over, I guess," said Jack, "and to my mind that will be before long now."

"Think so?" asked Frank. "Why?"

"Well, take for example the submarine raid off the American coast. It looks to me like the dying gasp of a conquered foe. They must be nearing the end of their rope to tackle such a problem."

"And still they have had some success," said Frank.

"True. But not much after all. What is the total tonnage destroyed in comparison with the tonnage still sailing the seas unharmed?"

"There's something in that," Frank agreed. "But I can't say that I'm of your opinion."

"Personally," declared Jack, "I believe that the war will be over before Christmas."

"I hope so. But I can't be as optimistic as you are."

The run to Newport News was made without incident and the Essex dropped anchor close to the spot where she had been stationed before.

She was greeted with wild cheers, for news of her success had preceded her to the little Virginia city. Jack and his officers and men were hailed with acclaim when they went ashore.

"Want to go to Washington with me, Frank?" asked Jack.

"That's a foolish question," was Frank's reply. "Of course I want to go."

"All right. Then we'll catch the ten o'clock train this morning. That will put us in the capital some time before five."

"Suits me," declared Frank.

This program was carried out. Arrived again in the capital of the nation, the lads went straight to the Raleigh hotel, where they got in touch with the British ambassador.

"I've been hearing good reports about you, Captain," said the ambassador's voice over the telephone.

"We were a bit lucky, sir, that is all," replied Jack deprecatingly.

"Nevertheless," said the ambassador, "Secretary Daniels wishes to thank you in person, as does the President. I shall call for you within the hour."

"Very well, sir."

Jack hung up the 'phone.

The ambassador was as good as his word. He arrived less than an hour later and the lads accompanied him to the Navy Department, where they were ushered into the presence of the Secretary of the Navy at once.

Secretary Daniels shook hands with both of the lads.

"You deserve the thanks of the whole nation for your gallant work," he said. "I am instructed to take you to the President."

Jack and Frank flushed with pleasure, but there was nothing either could say. From the Navy Department, the lads were escorted to the White House immediately across the street, where President Wilson was found in his office. The President was reached with little ceremony, and Secretary Daniels himself made the introduction.

"So," said the President, "these are the young officers who commanded the British destroyer Essex, which accounted for two of the enemy's submarines? They look rather young for such important posts." He gazed closely at Frank. "Surely," he said finally, "surely you are an American."

"Yes, sir," said Frank. "Born in Massachusetts, sir."

"Chadwick," mused the President. "Not, by any chance, related to Dr. Chadwick, of Woburn."

"He is my father, sir."

The President seemed surprised.

"But I didn't know my old friend Chadwick had a son of your age," he said.

"Well, he has, sir," replied Frank with a smile.

"But how do you happen to be in the British service?"

Frank explained briefly.

"You have certainly seen excitement," said the President. "I am glad to have seen you. Give my regards to your father when you see him. I am glad to have met you, too, Captain," and the President shook hands with Jack. "I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you both again some day."

The lads understood by this that the interview was ended. They followed Secretary Daniels and the British ambassador back to the former's office, where the latter handed Jack a paper.

"Cable from the British Admiral, I judge," he said.

Jack read the message.

"You are right, sir," he said. "We are ordered to home waters whenever you are through with us, sir."

"I judged as much," said the Secretary, "which is the reason I had Admiral Sellings order you to report to me. You are at liberty to return whenever you please, sir. But first let me thank you for your services in the name of the American people."

"Thank you, sir," said Jack, and saluted stiffly.

The lads now took their leave. The ambassador insisted on their going home with him to dinner.

"But we should get back to our ship at once, sir," Jack demurred.

"Never mind," said the ambassador, "I'll take the responsibility of holding you over an extra day."

So Jack and Frank dined with the ambassador, and took a late train to Richmond, where they changed early in the morning for Newport News. When they boarded the Essex later in the day they found in Jack's cabin the commandant of Fortress Monroe, who, having learned that the Essex would soon depart for home, had come to pay his respects while he yet had time.

"I want to tell you," he said to Jack, "that the Essex has made quite a name for herself among my men."

"I'm glad to hear that, sir," declared Jack.

"The men are only sorry, and naturally," continued the commandant, "that she was not manned by an American crew."

"Naturally, as you say, sir," Jack agreed. "Yet my first officer is an American."

The Commandant glanced at Frank.

"Can that be true?" he asked.

Frank smiled.

"It's true enough, sir," he said. "Yes, I'm a native of the Bay state and am in the British service merely as the result of an accident."

He explained.

"Well," said the Commandant, 'I'm glad of it. I'll have something to tell my officers and men that will make them proud. I hope that the next time either of you find yourselves in these parts you will look me up."

"Thank you, sir. We certainly shall," said Jack.

The Commandant took his departure.

"And now," said Jack, "for England."

First, Jack made a personal tour of inspection of the destroyer. Finding everything ship-shape, the crew was piped to quarters and Jack rang for half speed ahead.

A crowd had gathered at the water's edge and the Essex was speeded on her way by cheering and waving thousands. It was a touching scene, and Jack was very proud.

"A great country," he confided to Frank, as the vessel moved slowly out into the Roads. "A great country. I am glad to have seen it again, and I hope to come back some day."

"Oh, you'll come back," said Frank. "You'll come back when the war's over, to visit me."

"I certainly will," Jack declared.

The fortifications of Fortress Monroe now loomed ahead.

"I suppose the Commandant is somewhere about to wish us God-speed," Frank remarked.

The lad was right. And he did it in imposing manner.

The boom of a great gun was heard. This was followed by the roar of many more; and the rumble continued as the Essex drew near, was louder as she breasted the fort and continued as the ship passed on. Jack ordered a reply to the salute from the forward guns, and for the space of several minutes, the very sea seemed to tremble.

Then the Essex gathered speed and plowed ahead.

"Quite an ovation," said Frank, as he and Jack descended to the latter's cabin, leaving Lieutenant Hetherton on the bridge.

"It was, indeed. Yes, as I said before, it's a great country. You should be proud to be a native of it."

"I am," said Frank simply.



CHAPTER XXIII

BACK IN ENGLAND

Following the return of the Essex to English waters, Jack reported at once to Lord Hastings in Dover.

"I hear great things of you boys," said Lord Hastings. "Great things indeed."

"We were a bit fortunate, sir," Jack admitted.

"It was more than good fortune," declared Lord Hastings. "But it's nothing more than I expected of you both."

They conversed about various matters for some minutes. Then Jack asked:

"And what is in store for us now, sir?"

"You will report to Admiral Beatty," said Lord Hastings. "The Essex will be assigned to duty with the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. Patrol work, mostly. There is little likelihood that the Germans will make another effort, but the sea must be patrolled, nevertheless."

"When do we report, sir?"

"At once. You will weigh anchor in the morning. Admiral Beatty's flagship is somewhere off the coast of Belgium."

"Very well, sir," said Jack, and departed.

The next day the Essex left Dover. Fifty miles out, Jack picked up the flagship by wireless and received his instructions.

Days lengthened into weeks now and weeks into months and the Essex was still patrolling the North Sea with others of the Grand Fleet—composed besides British vessels of an American squadron in command of Vice-Admiral Sims. August passed and September came and still the Germans failed to venture from their fortress of Helgoland and offer battle to the allies.

The work became monotonous. Occasionally, the Essex put back to port for several days to replenish her bunkers and to take on provisions. At such times Jack and Frank usually went ashore for short periods, and the crew, portions at a time, were granted shore leave.

It was upon the last day of September that great news reached the fleet—news that indicated that the war was nearing its end and that now, if ever, the German fleet might venture from its hiding place and risk an engagement.

Bulgaria had broken with Germany and sued for a separate peace.

Several days later came the news that an armistice had been signed and that Bulgaria had ordered all German and Austrian troops to leave her boundaries. King Ferdinand abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Boris, who immediately ordered the demobilization of the Bulgarian armies.

"Turkey will come next, mark my words," declared Frank as he and Jack stood on the bridge, looking off across the broad expanse of the North Sea.

"Most likely," Jack agreed; "and after Turkey, Austria. That will leave Germany to fight the world by herself."

"She'll never attempt that," Frank declared. "The minute she sees her last chance gone, she'll squeal for help, the same as a hog. It's not in a German to take a licking, you know. He begins to show, yellow when the game goes against him."

"Perfectly true," said Jack, with a nod. "Now, it strikes me that Germany, facing the problem of fighting it out alone—for she must see that Bulgaria's action will soon be followed by her other allies—may send out her fleet for a grand blow."

Frank shook his head.

"Not a chance," he said.

"But," said Jack, "it has been the opinion of war critics and experts right along that Germany was saving her fleet for the final effort when all other means had failed."

"I don't care what the experts think," declared Frank, "I don't think the Germans will dare risk an engagement. In the first place, it would be suicidal—she would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Don't fret. The German naval authorities know just as well as we do what would happen to the German fleet should it issue from Helgoland."

"Maybe you're right," said Jack, "but in the enemy's place, I wouldn't give up without a final effort."

"That's just it," Frank explained. "You wouldn't, and neither would I. Neither, for that matter, would any British or American officer, nor French. But the German is of different caliber. He doesn't fight half as well when he knows the odds are against him. No, I believe that the German fleet will be virtually intact when the war ends."

"Then we'll take it away from them," declared Jack.

"I'm sure I hope so. It would be dangerous to the future peace of the world to allow the Germans to keep their vessels."

"Well," said Jack, "you can talk all you please, but you can't convince me our work is over—not until peace has been declared—or an armistice signed, or something."

"I agree with you there. There will be plenty of work for us right up to the last minute."

As it developed the lads were right.

"It was shortly after midnight when Jack was aroused by the third officer.

"Message from Admiral Beatty, sir," said the third officer, and passed Jack a slip of paper.

Jack read the message, which had been hastily scribbled off by the radio operator.

"German squadron of six vessels reported to have left Helgoland and to be headed for the coast of Scotland," the message read. "Proceed to intercept them at full speed. Other vessels being notified."

Jack sprang into his clothes, meanwhile having Frank summoned from his cabin. Frank dashed into Jack's cabin, clothes in hand.

"What's up?" he demanded.

"Germans headed for the Scottish coast," replied Jack briefly, and dashed out of the door.

Frank followed him a few moments later. Jack was standing on the bridge giving orders hastily.

"Have a look at the engine room, Frank," said Jack, "and tell the engineer to crowd on all possible steam. We'll have need of speed this trip, or I miss my guess."

Frank obeyed.

The Essex, which had been proceeding east by south at a leisurely pace, had come about now and was dashing due north at top speed. Jack himself shaped the course and gave the necessary instructions to the helmsman.

Below in the radio room, the wireless began to clatter. The operator, from time to time, was getting into touch with other vessels of the Grand Fleet ordered north to intercept the German raiders.

First he received a flash from the Lion; then the Brewster replied, and after her, the Tiger, Southampton, Falcon, White Hawk and Peerless. Counting the Essex this made eight ships speeding northward to intercept the enemy.

"I take it," said Jack, "that this is about the last blow the enemy will attempt to deliver. The Germans, knowing they are beaten, are intent now only upon doing what damage they can while there is yet time. This raid, I suppose, they figure will throw a scare into the coast cities, as similar raids did earlier in the war. However, they'll have a surprise this time, for all the coast ports are fortified now. There will be guns there to stand them off until we get there."

"Let's hope we get there in time," muttered Frank. "I'd like one more crack at the enemy. I'm afraid they are going to get off too easily when peace comes."

"We've got to get there in time," declared Jack.

From time to time the radio operator sent reports to Jack giving the positions of other vessels rushing to the defense of the coast ports.

"We'll get there first, at this rate," said Jack. "We're closer than the others."

"But we're no match for the enemy single-handed," declared Frank. "Chances are that the German squadron is composed mostly of battleships."

"True enough," Jack admitted, "but we'll do what damage we can. The Tiger, Lion, White Hawk, Falcon and Peerless are warships, you know. They'll be more than enough for the foe."

"Yes; but we may be at the bottom of the sea by that time."

"Don't worry. We'll hold our own until assistance arrives."

Jack made a rapid calculation.

"If we had any idea of the approximate position of the enemy at this time, we would know better how to go about our work," he said.

"You might call the enemy and find out?" said Frank with a grin.

"Don't be funny, Frank," said Jack severely. "This is no time for levity."

Came a cry from the lookout.

"Battle squadron off the port bow, sir!"

Jack clapped his glass to his eye.

The ships were too far distant and the night was too dark, however, to permit him to ascertain the identity of the approaching vessels.

"May be the enemy, Jack," said Frank.

"Right," Jack agreed.

A shrill whistle rang out on the Essex.

This was the answer to Jack's order to pipe the crew to quarters.

"Clear ship for action!" was Jack's next command.

"If it is the enemy," he confided to Frank, "we'll try and keep him engaged until reinforcements arrive."

"It may not be so hard, after all," Frank said "They may turn and beat a retreat when they find they are discovered."

"Not if there is only one of us," said Jack. "Pass the word to the forward lookout to sing out as soon as he can identify the enemy. I'll flash my light on them. He may be able to make them out."

The huge searchlight of the Essex flashed forth across the water, and played upon the approaching ships.

"Germans!" came the cry from the lookout.

"I thought so," said Jack. "Frank, go to the radio room and find out how close our nearest support is."

Frank was back in a few minutes.

"Lion says to engage," he reported. "Says she'll be with us in less than an hour. Tiger says she will arrive not more than fifteen minutes later. Falcon and Hawk report they are less than an hour and a half away."

"Right," said Jack. "Trouble is those fellows are likely to out-range us, in which event we'll have to retire slowly, trying to draw them after us. In that way reinforcements may arrive sooner. Hello! There she goes!"

The roar of a great gun came across the water.



CHAPTER XXIV

THE ENGAGEMENT

"If we retire," said Jack, "we will leave the way open to the coast. At this minute we are in their way."

"But if we try to stick it out here we'll be sunk," said Frank. "And if we retire toward the coast, we'll be moving away from our supports."

"True enough," Jack agreed. "There's only one thing to do. That is to retire as slowly as possible and try to entice all six ships after us. But I'd much rather wade right in."

"Same here. But discretion is the better part of valor, you know."

"Boom!"

Again a gun spoke aboard one of the enemy.

"We're still out of range," said Jack. "Let 'em come a little closer."

As Jack could now see, all six ships had altered their course slightly and were heading directly for the Essex.

"You may come about, Mr. Chadwick," said Jack.

Slowly the Essex swung about.

"Train your left guns on the enemy," Jack ordered.

This was done.

"Range finders!"

"Still out of range, sir," was the report.

"All right But let me know the minute we can strike."

"Aye, aye, sir."

"Half speed ahead, Mr. Chadwick."

"Aye, aye, sir."

Frank signalled the engine room.

"Boom! Boom! Boom!"

Guns spoke simultaneously aboard three of the enemy ships.

"Still beyond range."

It was Lieutenant Hetherton who spoke.

"Trouble is," said Frank, "that they will be within range before we are."

"We'll risk it," said Jack. "It's up to us to keep them busy until the warships arrive."

The next fire from the enemy resulted in a screaming shell to port.

"They've got the range, sir," said Frank.

"Make it two-thirds speed ahead."

The speed of the Essex increased.

But the German vessels were bearing down on her swiftly, and eventually Jack was forced to call for full speed ahead.

But still the German warships gained.

"They've the heels of us, too," muttered Jack. "Well, we'll slow down a bit and trust to luck. We can't do any damage unless we get within range."

The Essex slowed suddenly to half speed.

The German fleet dashed ahead, now in single formation. This was fortunate for the Essex, for it meant that the guns of only one ship could be brought to bear on the British destroyer at one time.

"Range, sir!" cried the range finder at this point.

"Then fire!" shouted Jack to the aft turret battery captain.

The battery spoke sharply, and the men gave a cheer of delight.

The first shell went home. It cleared the bow of the first German vessel apparently by the fraction of an inch and smashed squarely into the bridge. The crash of the shell striking home was followed almost instantly by an explosion. Timber and steel, intermingled with human bodies, flew high in the air. This much those aboard the Essex could see by the flare of the searchlight.

"A good shot, men!" cried Jack. "An excellent shot!"

An excellent shot it was indeed.

Something appeared to have gone wrong with the steering apparatus of the first German ship. She veered slightly to port.

The target thus presented was an excellent one.

"Fire!" cried Jack again.

The aft battery crashed out and once more the British cheered.

Two shells plowed into the crippled German just on the water line.

"A death wound," muttered Frank.

The lad was right.

The German vessel staggered under the force of the impact and seemed to reel backward. Men leaped to the rails and hurled themselves into the sea.

Suddenly there was a loud explosion and the ship seemed to split in two, a blaze of red fire stretching high into the heavens from the middle of the vessel as it did so. Then blackness enveloped it again and the two parts of the ship fell back into the water with a hiss like that of a thousand serpents. The first German ship was gone.

It was first blood to the Essex and the crew cheered again.

But the other five German vessels came on apace. The gun on the forward ship spoke, but the shell went wild.

"If they'll keep that formation, we might get away with the whole bunch of them," said Frank.

"Yes, but they won't," replied Jack.

He was a good prophet.

Even now, the German vessels began to spread out, and within ten minutes had formed a semi-circle. It was possible now for the forward guns on each ship to rake the Essex without interfering with each other's fire.

"Train your guns on the ship farthest to port," Jack instructed.

The order was obeyed. Again came the order for range finders, and the report that the range was O.K.

"Fire!" cried Jack.

Once more fortune was with the crew of the Essex. The range had been absolutely accurate, and the heavy shell from the Essex carried away the superstructure of the German. At the same moment came a cry from the lookout aft:

"Warship coming up astern, sir!"

Quickly Jack looked around.

"The first of our reinforcements," he said quietly.

He gave his attention again to the enemy, who was drawing uncomfortably close.

"Crash!"

Jack whirled sharply.

A shell had struck the Essex just above the water line on the port side.

"Go below and report, Mr. Chadwick!" Jack ordered.

Frank hurried away in response to this command. He sought the engine room.

"What's the damage, chief?" he asked.

"Slight," was the reply. "Shell passed clear through us, but cleared the boilers. Better round up the carpenter, though, sir."

Frank hurried back to the bridge and reported the extent of the damage. Then he sent a midshipman for the ship's carpenter.

"Crash! Bang!"

Another shell had struck the Essex, this time in the aft gun turret.

"Report, Mr. Chadwick," said Jack briefly.

Frank hurried to the turret.

"What's the damage, Captain?" he asked of the chief of the gun crew.

"One gun smashed, sir," was the reply. "Three of the crew killed and five injured."

"Other guns still working?"

"Can't you hear 'em, sir?"

Frank smiled in spite of himself and cast a quick glance around.

In spite of the death that had overtaken their comrades, the surviving gun crews in the turret were working like Trojans. The big guns continued to spit defiance at the enemy.

Now and then a cheer rose on the Essex as a shot went home.

Frank again returned to the bridge to report.

"Boom!"

It was a deeper voice that spoke this time.

The radio operator himself rushed to the bridge.

"Lion firing, sir," he said. "Says she has sighted us and for us to retire. No need of sacrificing ourselves Captain Jacobs says. The enemy can't get away."

At the same moment the lookout aft sang out again.

"Warship coming up astern, sir!"

"The second of our reinforcements," said Jack quietly. "I'll bet these fellows wish they had stayed home."

"I'm betting the same way," declared Frank.

"Well, it's getting too hot here," said Jack. "We'll get back and let the big fellows get in the game."

"Good idea, sir," said Lieutenant Hetherton.

"Full speed ahead!" Jack ordered.

At the sound of the great gun on the British warship Lion, the German admiral in command of the flotilla ordered his ships to slow down. Until that moment he had not been appraised of the fact that the German raid was known to the British fleet. He supposed, upon seeing the Essex, that he had encountered a single vessel which just happened to be in that part of the sea, but when the Lion came into the fight he began to have his doubts.

As yet, however, there was no other vessel in sight, and as the Germans heavily outnumbered the British, the admiral decided to continue the engagement.

"I suppose this fellow happened to hear the firing and came to investigate," muttered the German admiral. "Our raid can hardly have been discovered yet."

Accordingly he gave the word to advance again.

And a moment later he was sorry that he had done so.

Far astern of the Lion, and yet not so far that the German admiral could not have seen her but for the darkness, came two other long gray shapes; and from farther east, and closer, appeared a third.

The German admiral gritted his teeth.

"Confound these English!" he exclaimed. "Can nobody beat them?"

For a moment he debated with himself. He had half a mind to continue the struggle, for the odds were still, with the Germans. Then he changed his mind.

The wireless aboard the German flagship flashed a signal to retire.

But the German admiral had delayed too long for a successful retreat. Other British ships hove into view—seven of them. There was nothing for the German fleet to do but fight it out. The admiral gave the order:

"Advance!"



CHAPTER XXV

THE LAST SEA BATTLE

The cannonading became terrific.

Now that assistance arrived, Jack ordered the Essex, which still was the nearest British vessel to the enemy, back into the fray.

"The big fellows will look out for us," he confided to Frank.

The revolving turrets of the Essex were kept on the move and guns crashed as fast as they could be brought to bear. Shells struck on all sides of the destroyer and occasionally one came aboard. But thanks to Jack's maneuvering of the vessel, so far she had not been struck in a vital part.

The main British fleet bore down on the enemy from two sides, and to protect themselves against these new foes, the Germans were forced to turn their attention elsewhere than the Essex. Already big shells from the British warships were striking aboard the enemy. The range had been found almost with the first fire from the approaching war vessels and the Germans were replying as fast as they were able.

The fighting was at such close range now that Jack was able to distinguish the names of the German battleships. In the center, flying the flag of Admiral Krauss, was the Bismarck. On the right of the flagship were the Hamburg and the Potsdam, while on the left the flagship was flanked by the Baden and the Wilhelm II.

The fire of all five German vessels, at order of the admiral, was now directed upon the Lion, which bore down swiftly and was perhaps a quarter of a mile closer to the enemy than any other British craft except the destroyer Essex, commanded by Jack.

The forward guns of the Lion roared angrily and spat fire in the darkness as she bore down on the Germans at full speed. As yet no enemy shell had struck the Lion, but she had put several shells aboard the nearest German battleship—the Baden.

Now that the German fire had been momentarily lifted from the Essex, Jack ordered his ship in closer; and a veritable hail of shells were dropped on the Potsdam. For a moment or so the Germans paid no attention to the destroyer, but the fire from Jack's men became so accurate that the captain of the German ship found it necessary to disregard the admiral's orders and turn his attention to the Essex in self-defense.

The first shell from the Potsdam flew screaming over the bridge of the destroyer, but did no damage. The second was aimed better. It struck the bow of the destroyer on the port side and plowed through. The destroyer quivered through her entire length.

"Go below and report, Mr. Chadwick," Jack commanded.

Upon investigation, Frank learned that the shell had plowed through the forward bulkheads and that the outside compartments were awash. But the inner compartments had not been penetrated. He rounded up the ship's carpenter, who announced that the damage could be repaired in half an hour. There had been no casualties.

Jack accepted Frank's report with a brief nod; then gave his attention again to fighting his ship.

Forward and to the right of the Essex there sounded a terrific explosion, followed by a blinding glare. The Baden, one of the largest of the German warships, sprang into a mighty sheet of flame. A shell from the Lion had penetrated the engine room and exploded her boilers. Came wild cries from aboard the vessel and escaping steam and boiling water poured on the crew and scalded them.

With the searchlights of the British ships playing on her, the Baden reared high out of the water, and as men jumped into the sea for safety, she settled by the head, and sank.

This left only four of the enemy to continue the struggle and opposed to these the British offered eight unwounded vessels. Admiral Krauss gazed in every direction, seeking a possible avenue of escape. And at last he believed he saw it.

To the east—back in the direction from which he had come—the space between the British battleships Peerless and Falcon seemed to offer a chance. The German admiral calculated rapidly. To the eye it appeared that the German ships could pass through that opening before the British could close in.

The wireless aboard the German flagship sputtered excitedly. Instantly the four remaining German ships turned and dashed after the flagship, which was showing the way.

Instantly the commander of every British ship realized the purpose of the enemy. Even the distant Falcon and Peerless seemed to know what was expected of them. Their speed increased and they dashed forward in an effort to intercept the enemy.

It was nip and tuck. The Lion was the first to dash in pursuit, followed by the Tiger and the White Hawk. The Brewster and Southampton, closely followed by the more or less crippled Essex, brought up the rear, each doing its utmost to pass the other in order to get another chance at the enemy.

Slowly the Lion, the Tiger and the White Hawk gained on the enemy; and it became apparent now that the Germans would be unable to get through the space between the Peerless and Falcon without a fight.

Aboard the Bismarck, the German admiral gritted his teeth.

"It will have to be fight now," he muttered, "and the odds are all against me."

The Falcon and the Peerless, from either side and forward of the Germans, now opened with their big guns almost simultaneously. Every available gun aboard the German vessels replied. From astern, the guns of the Lion were pounding the sterns of the fleeing enemy battleships. The Brewster and the Southampton, together with the Tiger and the White Hawk, also were hurling shells after the Germans, although with little effect, for they were trailing too far behind.

Jack urged the Essex forward in the wake of the others. He was far behind and was rapidly being outdistanced by the larger ships, but he determined to see the thing through if possible.

The last German ship in line, struck by a shell from the pursuing Lion, staggered and fell to one side. The Lion darted on, pouring a broadside into the crippled enemy as she passed, then dashed after the vessels ahead.

The Tiger, White Hawk, Brewster and Southampton, also poured broadsides into the Wilhelm II as they passed, but they did not even slacken their pace.

But the Wilhelm II apparently had not received her death blow. Her crew continued to fight the ship heroically, and as the Essex approached she was greeted with a heavy fire from the German.

"The big fellows don't seem to have made a very good job of this," said Jack to Frank. "We'll finish it for them."

The Essex slowed down and turned sharply toward the Wilhelm II. Her guns still in condition to fight burst forth anew. The British showed excellent marksmanship. Shell after shell was poured into the crippled foe. Jack ordered "cease firing."

Taking a megaphone that lay nearby, he put it to his mouth and called:

"Surrender!"

His answer was a shell that came crashing aboard aft from one of the Wilhelm II's big guns. Jack turned quietly to Frank.

"Sink her!" he said.

Frank dashed across the deck to where the crew of the forward gun turret was anxiously awaiting some command. He addressed the captain of the crew.

"See if you can put a shell into her engine room," he said. "Take your time."

The latter did so; and it was several seconds before the big gun spoke, but when it did Frank uttered an exclamation of satisfaction.

The shell had gone true. Watching eyes aboard the Essex saw it plow its way through the side of the Wilhelm II. Then came the explosion and the Wilhelm II seemed to part in the middle. She sank in less than five minutes.

Meanwhile, the Peerless and Falcon had headed off the other three German ships, which, forced to fight, now stood at bay, with every gun pounding. The Lion, Tiger and the other vessels bore down on them rapidly from astern.

For the space of half an hour the view of those aboard the Essex was obscured by the smoke from the big guns, which could not be penetrated even by the bright lights of the searchlights. They could hear the boom of the big guns, the crash of the shells as they struck home and occasional sharp explosions that told of irrepairable damage aboard the enemy vessels, but they could see nothing.

"This will be the last of the enemy," was Frank's comment.

Jack nodded.

"I should think so," he agreed. "If they let one of those fellows get away now they should be court-martialed."

"Don't fret," said Frank, "they won't get away."

They didn't get away.

Firing ceased just as the first streak of light appeared in the eastern sky, and when the smoke of battle cleared away, Jack and Frank saw that the British victory had been complete.

Only two German ships were still above water. These were the Bismarck, flagship of Admiral Krauss, and the Hamburg. The others had all been sunk.

The Hamburg, the lads could see, was slowly sinking by the head. She was being abandoned by her crew, who, in small boats, some even swimming, were hurrying to the side of the Bismarck, where they were lifted aboard.

"Why didn't they sink her, too?" demanded Frank pointing to the German flagship.

"Why?" repeated Jack. "Why should they? Can't you see that white flag flying at the masthead?"

"By George! I hadn't noticed that."

"And there," said Jack, pointing, "goes a prize crew from the Lion to take over the vessel."

A launch loaded with British tars had put off from the Lion and was making toward the German flagship.

Admiral Krauss and his officers and men were soon transferred to the Lion and a British crew was in possession of the Bismarck.

Thus ended the last sea battle of the great war. In all the times that Germany had tested the naval power of Great Britain and her allies, she had found it great—too much for German naval tactics to overcome. And now that the great war was drawing to an end, she did not test it again.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE END APPROACHES

With the coming of November, it became apparent to every officer and man in the Grand Fleet—as well as the rest of the world—that the beginning of the end was at hand—that the German war machine was disintegrating and was about to break.

This was strengthened by the announcement on November 2 that the preceding day England, France and Italy had concluded an armistice with Turkey, thus depriving Germany of her second ally. This left only Germany and Austria to continue the struggle, and upon the same day that the armistice with Turkey was announced came word that Austria also had made overtures for peace.

"You can take it from me," said Jack, as the destroyer Essex continued her patrol of the North Sea, "that this war is about to end. I'm willing to bet that Germany will sue for peace within a couple of weeks."

Frank expressed his doubts.

"She's likely to continue the struggle for some time yet," he said.

"But that would be foolish," declared Jack. "She can hope to gain nothing thereby."

"Perhaps not. But if Germany sues for peace now there is likely to be such an internal upheaval in the Empire that the French revolution will look like a house party."

"Maybe you're right, but I stick to my opinion nevertheless."

Events proved that Jack was right.

On the morning of November 5, word reached the Grand Fleet that an armistice had been concluded with Austria the day before.

"As I expected," said Jack. "What did I tell you, Frank?"

"Well, I anticipated that myself," said Frank. "But Germany hasn't asked for peace yet, you know."

"True, but I can tell you something you don't know. I just got word this morning."

"What's that?"

"Why Germany, through Chancellor Ebert, already is in negotiations with President Wilson."

"What?"

"Exactly. President Wilson has replied that he will stick to his original principles of peace, announced some time ago. Germany is requested to announce whether she will accept such terms."

"But it seems to me," said Frank, "that if Germany wants peace she should be made to ask it on the field of battle."

And that is exactly what happened, for when the armistice negotiations were finally begun it was at a conference between Marshal Foch, commander-in-chief of all the allied forces, and a commission of German officers.

It was on November 8, that news of the armistice conference was flashed to the Grand Fleet.

"Armistice commission will meet November 10 at Hirson, France," read the message, flashed to every vessel in the fleet.

All that day and the next, every man in the fleet waited anxiously for further word of the approaching armistice conference. None came. Neither had any word been received on the evening of November 10.

"Must have been a hitch some place," said Frank, as they sat in the latter's cabin that night.

"Not necessarily," replied Jack, "You know these things take time. A matter like this can't be fixed up in an hour, or a day."

"Well," said Frank, "I'd like to know what terms Marshal Foch will impose on the foe."

"They'll be stringent enough, don't you worry," said Jack. "He'll impose terms harsh enough to make sure that Germany doesn't renew the struggle while final peace negotiations are in progress."

"I hope so. But I'll tell you one thing I hope he does."

"What's that?" Jack wanted to know.

"I hope he insists on the surrender of the whole German fleet."

"Whew!" exclaimed Jack. "You don't want much, do you?"

"Well, he should insist on it," declared Frank.

"But he probably won't," returned Jack. "I figure, however that he will insist that a large share of the ships be turned over to the allies, including their most powerful submarines and battleships and cruisers. But you can't expect them to give up the whole business, particularly when the entire High Seas Fleet is practically intact."

"Maybe not; but I'm for taking all we can get."

"So am I," Jack agreed, "all that we can get without danger of causing a hitch in the armistice proceedings."

"Seems to me," said Frank, "that by this time we should have had some word of the proceedings at Hirson to-day."

"It would seem so, that's a fact. However, I guess we will get the information all in good time."

"That's all right. But I'm anxious to know what's going on."

"Well, we won't know to-night; so I am in favor of turning in."

"Guess we may as well."

But early the next morning, an account of the first day's proceedings of the armistice delegates was flashed to the fleet. This, however, did not bring much jubilation, for the announcement simply said that the German delegates had refused the terms offered by Marshal Foch and had returned to their own lines for further instructions.

"Told you so!" exclaimed Frank. "This war is not over yet."

"Don't you believe it," declared Jack. "These Germans may do a little bluffing—I'd probably try the same thing under similar conditions—but you mark my words, they'll accept the terms, all right."

"The conference is to be resumed some time this afternoon," said Frank. "That means that we will hear nothing before morning."

"It depends," said Jack. "If the armistice is signed to-day, we'll probably get the word immediately; but if it stretches out for a day or two, we probably won't"

"I guess that's about the size of it," Frank admitted.

All during the day excitement aboard the Essex, and all other vessels patrolling the North Sea, for that matter, was at fever heat. While every man knew that there was little likelihood of receiving news until long after dark, each one nevertheless lived in hopes.

Nevertheless, patrol work was still being done carefully. It had become an axiom of a British sailor that a German was not to be trusted—that when he appeared the least dangerous, it was time to watch him more carefully. Consequently, in spite of the impending armistice, the vigilance of the British fleet was not relaxed.

Six o'clock came, and seven; and still there had been no word from the scene of the armistice conference. At eight o'clock Frank said:

"I don't know what we are sitting up for. Something must have gone wrong again. If the armistice had been signed we would know something of it by this time."

"Hold your horses," said Jack. "I'm just as anxious as you are, but there is no use getting excited about it."

"Well," said Frank, "if we haven't heard something by nine o'clock, I'm going to turn in."

But at nine o'clock no word had been received.

"I know we shall hear nothing to-night," said Frank, rising, "so I'm going to tumble into my bunk."

"Help yourself," said Jack, looking up from a book he was reading. "I'll wait a little longer."

Frank retired to his own cabin and was soon asleep. At ten o'clock, no word having been received, Jack put down his book and rose.

"Frank may be right," he told himself. "At all events, I may as well turn in. My remaining up won't alter the facts, whatever they are."

He undressed, extinguished the light in his cabin and climbed into bed.

Aboard practically every ship in the fleet, almost the same scenes were enacted that night. Officers and men alike remained up for hours, awaiting possible word that the armistice had been signed. But at midnight no word had been received, and while the big ships moved about their patrol work, the men slept—those of them who had no duties to perform at that hour. Only the officers and members of the crew watch, and the night radio operators, remained awake.

To Jack it seemed that he had just closed his eyes when he was aroused by the sound of the Essex's signal whistle. It screeched and screeched. Jack leaped from his bunk and scrambled into his clothes.

"Something wrong," he muttered. "Wonder why they didn't call me?"

He hurried on deck.

Frank, in his cabin, also had been aroused by the noise. He, too, sprang into his clothes and hurried on deck.

There the first thing that his eyes encountered was a circle of figures, with hands joined, dancing about the bridge and yelling at the top of their voices. Among them was Jack, who, for the moment, seemed to have forgotten the dignity that went with his command. Also, the shrill signal whistle continued to give long, sharp blasts. Frank looked at Jack in pure amazement.

"Must have gone crazy," he muttered.

He hurried to the bridge and standing behind the dancing figures, caught Jack by the coat as he whirled by.

"I say," he demanded. "What's the meaning of this? Have you gone mad?"

Jack stopped and broke away from the circle which danced on without him.

"Almost," said Jack, in answer to Frank's question, "and with good reason."

"What—" began Frank.

"By George! Can't you think?" demanded Jack.

Gradually comprehension dawned on Frank.

"You mean—" he began again.

"Of course, I mean it," shouted Jack. "Why else do you think I'd be dancing around here like a whirling dervish? Come on and join the crowd. The armistice has been signed!"

"Hurrah!" shouted Frank.

A moment later he was circling madly about the bridge with the others.



CHAPTER XXVII

PREPARING FOR THE SURRENDER

ALTHOUGH the armistice had now been officially signed and fighting had ceased, under orders from Admiral Beatty, commander of the Grand Fleet, every ship was still stripped for action. While it appeared that everything was open and above-board, the British admiral intended to take no chances. He recalled other German treachery and he was not at all sure in his own mind that the enemy might not attempt some other trick.

Two days after the signing of the armistice, upon instructions from the admiralty, Admiral Beatty got in touch by wireless with the German fleet commander in Helgoland, Admiral Baron von Wimpfen. With the latter Admiral Beatty was to arrange for the surrender for such portions of the German High Seas Fleet as had been decided upon by Marshal Foch and the German armistice commission.

All day the wireless sputtered incessantly aboard the flagship, while other ship commanders within radio distance listened to what was going on. Jack was among these. He relieved his radio operator for the day and took the instrument himself.

"The German fleet," ticked Admiral Beatty's flagship wireless, "will steam forth from Helgoland on November 19 and move due west toward the English coast, where the British fleet will be stationed to await its coming."

"Shall we dismantle our guns?" asked Admiral von Wimpfen.

"Yes."

"And what of the size of our crews?"

"They shall be large enough to handle the vessel. That is all. The crew of each ship shall be reduced to the minimum."

"And how about our submarines?"

"They must be surrendered first."

"But the surrender cannot be completed in one day."

"I am aware of it," replied Admiral Beatty. "As I have instructed you, the first of the German fleet will leave Helgoland on the night of November 19. By that I mean the submarines. They must steam on the surface. The first flotilla to be composed of twenty-seven vessels."

"I understand," returned the German admiral.

"Very well. My ships will be stretched out in a fifty-mile line on either side of your ships as they approach and will fire at the first sign of treachery."

"There shall be no treachery, sir. You have the word of a German admiral."

"Very well I shall acquaint you with other details from time to time."

This was the conversation that Jack heard that day.

At noon on November 18, Jack, together with other commanders, received word from Admiral Beatty to steam toward Harwich, on the English coast, and to take his place in the long line of ships that would be gathered there to receive the surrender of the enemy fleet.

Excitement thrilled the crew of the Essex. They were about to witness one of the greatest events of world history and there wasn't a man aboard who didn't know it. Nevertheless, there was no confusion, and the Essex steamed rapidly westward.

"Hope we get up near the front of the line," said Frank to his chum. "Also that we are close to Admiral Beatty's flagship."

"Here too," said Jack. "It will be a sight worth seeing."

"Rather."

"Well, we can't kick no matter where they place us, you know. I suppose I shall receive the necessary instructions in plenty of time."

Jack did. The instructions came the following morning, while the Essex was still possibly a hundred miles off the English coast.

"You will report to Admiral Tyrwhitt," Jack's message read, "who will assign you to your station."

Jack immediately got in touch with Admiral Tyrwhitt by wireless. The latter gave his position and informed the lad that his place in line would be next to the Admiral's flagship.

"I thought Admiral Beatty would be up toward the front," said Jack.

"He probably will," was Frank's reply. "I have it figured out like this, from what you have told me of the fact that the submarines will be surrendered first: Admiral Tyrwhitt probably will receive the surrender of the U-Boats, while Admiral Beatty will receive the formal surrender of Admiral von Wimpfen himself."

"Maybe that's it," Jack agreed.

It was well after noon when the Essex sighted the flagship of Admiral Tyrwhitt, the Invincible, and reported for duty. Jack received instructions to lay to just west of the flagship. He obeyed.

From time to time now other vessels appeared and reported to Admiral Tyrwhitt and were assigned places in the long line.

Suddenly there was a cheer from the crews of the many ships. Jack glanced across the water, as did Frank. And then the latter went wild with excitement.

Steaming majestically toward them came five great battleships flying the Stars and Stripes.

"So the Americans will be in at the finish," said Jack.

"You bet they will," declared Frank. "We're always in at the finish."

"Well, you deserve to be this time, I guess," said Jack with a smile.

"We always deserve to be," declared Frank.

"So?" replied Jack. "I'm not going to argue with you about it."

"It wouldn't do any good," declared Frank. "Let me tell you something. If it hadn't been for the United States this war wouldn't be over yet."

"Is that so?" demanded Jack. "Why wouldn't it?"

"Because all the British and French together don't seem to have been able to lick the Germans."

"Rats," exclaimed Jack. "We would have done it in time."

"Maybe so, but there is nothing sure about it It was the Americans who turned the tide at Chateau-Thierry."

"They did some wonderful work, I'm not gain-saying that," Jack admitted. "But I can't see that it was any more remarkable than what the Canadians did at Vimy Ridge."

"Well," said Frank smiling, "while the Canadians are really British subjects, nevertheless they come from the same part of the world as the Yankees. They're made out of the same pattern."

Jack smiled.

"I seem to have spoiled my own argument there, don't I?" he said.

Frank grinned too.

"You've got to admit," he said, "that when the Americans start a thing they go through with it. They never turn back."

"True enough," Jack admitted, "but to my mind it takes them a deuced long time to get started."

"They just want to be sure they're right first," Frank explained.

"Have it your own way. But those five American ships approaching now look mighty good, I'll admit that."

"I never saw a more beautiful sight," declared Frank, and he meant it.

Majestically the American warships steamed along, the leading vessel flying the flag of Admiral Sims. They approached almost to the flagship of Admiral Tyrwhitt and the guns of the two flagships boomed out an exchange of salutes. Then the American flotilla slowed down and swung to leeward, and took its places in the long line.

"Going to be quite an event this surrender, if you ask me," said Frank.

"It certainly is," Jack replied. "I understand King George and Queen Mary, together with many other distinguished British, French, Americans and Italians, will be present to witness the surrender."

"Including ourselves," grinned Frank.

"Well, we're probably not such big fry," Jack commented, "but we've done as much—and a whole lot more—than a good many of them, if you ask me."

"My sentiments exactly," declared Frank. "And for that reason we're just as much entitled to be in at the finish as any of the rest."

"More so," said Jack quietly.

"Well, we'll be there. So we have no kick coming."

All day great vessels of war continued to arrive and take their places in the line. As far as the eye could see long gray shapes lay in the water—two lines of them—with perhaps half a mile between. Through this space the German warships would pass when they came out to surrender.

When the eye could no longer see ships, the presence of other vessels was noted by smudges of smoke on the horizon. The line of ships, or rather the two lines, Jack and Frank knew, stretched almost to the distant shore.

"Yes," said Jack, "it's going to be quite an event."

Suddenly the guns of every ship burst out with a roar. The flagship of Admiral Beatty was approaching down the line from shore. Aboard it, every man of the great fleet knew, besides the admiral, were King George and Queen Mary of England; and it was the royal salute that was being fired. Even the American ships joined in the greeting.

The guns of Admiral Beatty's flagship were kept busy acknowledging the salutes. On every deck handkerchiefs and caps waved frantically as the flagship passed.

As the vessel drew abreast of the Essex, Jack and Frank, standing together on the bridge, made out the forms of the King and Queen of England on the bridge.

Both lads doffed their caps, and Jack ordered the royal salute fired by the big guns of the destroyer.

The vessel trembled under the detonation and the crew seemed to go wild as they cheered at the top of their voices.

The flagship passed on.

A mile or so to the east, the flagship slowed down and turned into line.

"And that's where I suppose she will remain until after the surrender," said Jack.

The lad was right.



CHAPTER XXVIII

THE SURRENDER

Germany's sea surrender began at dawn on November 20, nine days after the signing of the armistice.

Out in this misty expanse of the North Sea the allied battleships had taken up their positions in a fifty-mile line of greyhounds. Aboard the allied battleships every eye was strained to the east; every man was on the alert. The British and allied war vessels presented a noble sight, stretched out as far as the eye could see, and beyond.

Every ship was stripped for action. Crews were at their posts. Not until the surrender was an accomplished fact would the vigilance of the British naval authorities be relaxed. Not until the German vessels were safe in the hands of the allies would British officers and crews be certain that the enemy was not meditating trickery up to the last moment.

The destroyer Essex, commanded by Jack, as has already been said, was at the extreme east of the long line of battleships. Beyond it were the flagship of Admiral Beatty, flanked still farther east by three big war vessels, and Admiral Tyrwhitt's flagship.

Jack and Frank were on the bridge of the destroyer. Other officers were at their posts. The crews stood to their guns. Below, the engine room was the scene of activity. A full head of steam was kept up, for there was no telling at what moment it might be needed.

Came a shrill whistle from the farthest advanced British vessel, followed by a cry from the lookout aboard the destroyer:

"Here they come!"

As the red sun rose above the horizon the first submarine appeared in sight. Soon after seven o'clock, twenty-seven German submarines were seen in line, accompanied by two destroyers. These latter were the Tibania and the Serra Venta, which accompanied the flotilla to take the submarine crews back to Germany.

All submarines were on the surface, with their hatches open and their crews standing on deck. They were flying no flags whatever, and their guns were trained fore and aft in accordance with previous instructions from Admiral Beatty.

Until the moment that they had sighted the first ship of the British fleet, the German flag had flown from the mastheads of the various undersea craft, but they had been hauled down at once when the allied war vessels came into view.

The leading destroyer, in response to a signal from Admiral Beatty on his flagship, altered her course slightly and headed toward the coast of England.

The wireless instrument aboard the destroyer Essex clattered and a few moments later the radio operator rushed to the bridge with a message for Jack. The latter read it quickly, then said:

"Send an O.K. to the admiral?'

"What's up, Jack?" asked Frank.

"Lower half a dozen small boats, Mr. Hetherton," instructed Jack before replying to Frank's question, "and have them manned by a score of men each, fully armed."

"Aye, aye, sir."

Lieutenant Hetherton hurried away.

"What's up, Jack?" asked Frank again.

"I have been ordered to inspect each submarine as it comes abreast of us," Jack replied. "Apparently the admiral still fears treachery. I'll remain aboard here, and leave the work to you and the other officers."

This was done. As each submarine drew up with the Essex she was boarded by a score of the Essex's men. Some stood guard at the hatches with weapons held ready, while an officer and the others of the crew went below for a hurried trip of inspection, searching them diligently for "booby traps," and other signs of treachery.

This necessitated a slowing down in the speed of the German craft, but at length the work was accomplished and Frank and his men, and all others belonging aboard the Essex, returned to their ship.

"All serene, Jack," Frank reported.

"Very well, I shall so inform the admiral."

He scribbled off a brief message, which he sent to the radio room.

Now, with the submarines well along the line, the British fleet began to move—escorting the U-Boats toward Harwich. The fleet would return the next day to receive the surrender of the larger enemy war vessels, but to-day it meant to make sure that the submarines were taken safely to port.

There was one brief halt while the German admiral in command of the flotilla went aboard Admiral Tyrwhitt's flagship to make formal surrender of the submarines. He was accompanied by two members of his staff.

Admiral Tyrwhitt received him on the bridge. There were tears in the eyes of the German admiral as he said:

"Sir, I surrender to you this submarine fleet of the Imperial German navy."

He extended his sword.

Admiral Tyrwhitt waved back the sword and accepted the surrender in a few brief words. The German admiral turned on his heel and walked to the rail. There one of his officers held out his hand to a British lieutenant who was nearby.

The latter refused it, and the German turned away muttering to himself in his native tongue. The German admiral and his officers returned to the destroyer, and the march of the fleets continued.

It was a procession of broken German hopes—in the van, a destroyer of the unbeaten navy; behind, the cruel pirate craft that were to subjugate the sea. Each of the allied warships turned, and keeping a careful lookout, steamed toward Harwich.

As the Essex passed one of the largest submarines, which carried two 5.9 guns, Frank counted forty-three officers and men on her deck. The craft was at least three hundred feet long.

"By George! Isn't she a whopper?" exclaimed the lad.

Jack nodded.

"She is indeed. The largest submarine I ever saw."

Near the Shipwash lightship, three large British seaplanes appeared overhead. They were followed by a single airship. The sight of the Harwich forces, which soon appeared in the distance, together with the seaplanes and the airship, was a most impressive one.

Suddenly two carrier pigeons were released aboard one of the captured submarines.

A shock ran through the officers and crew of every allied vessel in sight. Apparently something was wrong. Sharp orders rang out. But the matter passed over. It was explained that the pigeons had been released merely to carry back to Germany the news that the surrender had been made.

Nevertheless, the act called forth a vigorous protest from the flagship of the British commander-in-chief.

"Another act like that and I shall sink you," was Admiral Beatty's message.

Still ten miles off shore, the procession came to a halt. Feverish activity was manifest aboard the British vessels. Small boats were lowered and put off toward the submarines. These carried British crews that were to take over the vessels and conduct them to port. As fast as a British crew took possession, the German crews were transferred to the German destroyers there for the purpose of taking them back to Germany.

Then the procession moved toward Harwich again.

As the boats went through the gates into Harwich harbor, a white ensign was run up on each of them, with the German flag flying underneath.

Before being removed to the destroyers, which were to carry them back, each submarine commander, who were the only Germans left aboard the vessels as they passed into the harbor, was required to sign a declaration that his submarine was in perfect running order, that his periscope was intact, the torpedoes unloaded and the torpedo head safe.

Despite orders issued to the Harwich forces in advance, to the effect that no demonstration must be permitted in the city after the surrender of the German fleet, wild cheering broke out on the water front as the submarines, escorted by the great British warships, steamed into the harbor.

Military police cleared the water front of the dense throng that had gathered, but the best efforts they put forth were unable to still the bedlam that had broken loose.

Commanders of the British ships had difficulty in restraining cheers by their crews and later by the Harwich forces themselves when the fleet of captured submarines was turned over to Captain Addison, the commandant at that port.

Harbor space for the surrendered U-Boats had been provided in advance, and the vessels were now piloted to these places, where they were placed under heavy guard.

This work took time, and it was almost dark before the last submarine had been escorted to its resting place.

All day crowds thronged the streets of Harwich, cheering and yelling madly. In vain the military authorities tried to stop the celebration. As well have tried to shut out the sound of thunder in the heavens. At last the authorities gave it up as a bad job, and joy and happiness ran rampant and unrestrained.

It was a glorious day for England, and thousands of persons from London and the largest cities of the island had hurried to Harwich to witness the formal surrender of the fleet and its internment. All night the thousands paraded the streets of the little village, the celebration seeming to grow rather than to diminish as the early morning hours approached.

So passed the bulk of Germany's undersea fighting strength into the hands of Great Britain and her allies. No longer would they terrorize with their ruthless warfare. They were safe at last. The fangs of the undersea serpents had been drawn.

And on the night of November 20, 1918, thus made harmless, they lay quietly in the harbor of Harwich, England, above them flying the Union Jack.



CHAPTER XXIX

THE SURRENDER COMPLETE

November 21! This was to be a day, perhaps, more historic than the one that preceded it, for on this day was to be surrendered to the allied fleet the bulk of the great war vessels that comprised the Imperial German navy.

Heading the great British flotilla that moved out to sea again was the super-dreadnaught the Queen Elizabeth, Admiral Beatty's flagship, aboard which were King George and Queen Mary, as they had been the day before.

Following the first twenty-five British ships steamed the American squadron, Admiral Rodman, aboard the dreadnaught New York, showing the way. Following the New York were the Florida, Wyoming, Texas and Arkansas. Behind the Americans trailed a pair of French cruisers, followed in turn by a few Italian vessels, after which came the remainder of the great British fleet.

So the flotilla moved out again and took up the positions they had held the day before. Again every eye was strained to catch sight of the first German warship. And at last came the cry, sounding much as it had on the preceding day:

"Here they come!"

The German fleet that approached now came much more swiftly than had the flotilla of undersea craft. This time the halt was made while the German flagship was abreast of the Queen Elizabeth. Admiral Baron von Wimpfen put off for Admiral Beatty's vessel in a launch.

Admiral Beatty received the German admiral on the bridge of the Queen Elizabeth, with him were King George and Queen Mary. Admiral von Wimpfen made the formal declaration of surrender and it was accepted by the British admiral without ostentation.

The German fleet thus turned over to Admiral Beatty consisted of approximately one hundred and fifty vessels of all classes, including dreadnaughts, battleships, cruisers and destroyers. Slowly these giant vessels fell into line now and steamed toward Harwich, the British ships, still cleared for action, accompanying them and watching carefully for the signs of treachery.

But no such signs showed themselves. No longer were the Germans thinking of fight. They had been decisively beaten, and they knew it. Apparently they considered themselves lucky to get off so easily.

Still some distance off-shore, the crews of the German ships were transferred to the half-dozen small vessels that were to carry them back to the Fatherland, and British crews were put aboard the vessels. Then, their eyes sad and watching what had once been the pride of Germany, the German officers and sailors began their cheerless journey home.

Again it was a night of festivity in Harwich, and in all England, and all allied countries, for that matter. The surrender of the great German fleet was now a thing of the past. Germany's hands were tied. She could continue the struggle no longer even should she elect to do so. While a formal declaration of peace had not been signed, and probably would not be signed for months to come, the war was over, so far as actual fighting was concerned.

No wonder England, France, America, Italy and the smaller nations with them went wild with joy. After four years of war, peace had again cast its shadow over the earth, and everyone was glad.

"So it's all over."

It was Frank who spoke. He and Jack were in the latter's cabin on the Essex. The ship was lying at anchor just outside Harwich harbor, riding gently on the swell of the waves.

"Yes, it's all over," said Jack, "and I'm glad."

"So am I," Frank declared; "and yet we have had a good time."

"So we have, of a kind. And still you can't rightly call it a good time when all we have been doing is to seek, kill and destroy."

"But it had to be done," Frank protested.

"Oh, I know that as well as you do. But war is a terrible thing, and the more you see of it the more certain you become that it is all foolishness."

"And yet, you can't permit a big bully to run amuck and smash up things all over the world."

"That's true, of course, and it's exactly what the kaiser and his war machine tried to do. Now, the machine had to be smashed, of course, and it has been smashed. But how long will it take the world to recover? How long will it take to rebuild what has been destroyed in these four years of war?"

Frank shrugged his shoulders.

"I'm not good at conundrums," he replied.

"Nor I; and yet I'll venture to say that the reconstruction days will be as hard as many we have experienced in the war."

"The thing that I want to know," said Frank, changing the subject abruptly, "is just what will be done with Germany in the final peace conference."

"You know as much about it as I do," replied Jack, "but my own idea is that the German empire will be dismembered—divided into the states of Prussia, Saxony, and so forth, as they were years before they united under one head."

"I'm sure I hope so. Certainly the allies will never permit Germany to attain such power that may make all our fighting futile—they'll never let her grow strong enough to start another world struggle."

The lads conversed far into the night before retiring. Nevertheless they were astir at an early hour, awaiting orders that they knew must come that day; and they came shortly after noon in the shape of a wireless from Lord Hastings.

"Return to Dover at once," the message read.

Again the Essex put to sea.

But it was upon a peaceful voyage that the destroyer was bound now. No longer did her decks bristle with shining guns, crew at quarters and ready for action. True, the Essex still showed plainly that she was a ship of war, but her threatening attitude was gone. The war was over and all was quiet aboard.

That night the destroyer put into Dover harbor and the lads went ashore to report to Lord Hastings. It was after ten o'clock, but their former commander received them at once in spite of the lateness of the hour.

"Sorry to disturb you at this hour, sir," said Jack, "but I thought perhaps you would wish us to report to you immediately."

"And I am glad you did," returned Lord Hastings. "Come, tell me something about yourselves. So you were in at the finish, eh?"

"You bet!" exclaimed Frank enthusiastically. "You should have been there, sir."

"I was," replied Lord Hastings.

"You were, sir?"

"Yes."

"But we didn't see you, sir," said Jack.

"I know you didn't. But I saw you. And I saw Frank when he inspected the submarines on the first day of the surrender."

"Where were you, sir?" demanded Frank.

"Aboard the Queen Elizabeth. I viewed the surrender as the guest of Admiral Beatty, and their majesties."

For some time the conversation dealt only with the surrender of the fleet. Then Lord Hastings said:

"Well, boys, the war is over. What do you intend to do now?"

"I know what I shall do, sir," said Frank.

"Well, let's hear it."

"I shall return to America as soon as I am able to procure my discharge."

"As I thought," said Lord Hastings. "And you, Jack?"

"I hardly know, sir. I have no relatives, few friends. There is no one dependent on me, and I am dependent on no one. It strikes me, sir, that the navy might be a good place to stick."

"And I had expected that, too," said Lord Hastings quietly. "But I don't agree with you, Jack."

"Why not, sir?" asked Jack, in some surprise.

"In the first place," said Lord Hastings, "the life would begin to pall on you when it settled down to dull routine. Now in active service, of course, it's different. I know, because I've tried both. No, my advice to you Jack, is to get out of the navy."

"But what shall I do, sir?"

"There are many things," said Lord Hastings quietly. "There is the consular service, the diplomatic service. Who knows how far you may rise? Already you have made a name for yourself and have won distinction. You may go far, if you apply yourself."

"That's true, too, sir," said Jack. "I have thought of that, at odd moments. But I guess you are right about the navy, sir."

"I know I am. And the sooner you get out of it the better."

"Then I'll take your advice, sir. But I'm afraid it won't be possible to get a discharge for some time yet."

"It will be much simpler that you think, for both of you," said Lord Hastings with a smile. "I still have some influence, you know, and I shall see you receive your discharges within a fortnight, if you wish."

"Hurray!" shouted Frank. "That suits me. There is no use sticking in the navy now. There is nothing to do."

"And," continued Lord Hastings to Jack. "In the meantime I'll look around and see what I can turn up for you, Jack."

"Thank you, sir," said Jack.

"And in the meantime, Jack," added Frank, "you are going home with me for a visit. That is, as soon as we get our discharges."

Jack hesitated.

"But I don't know that I should," he said. "Lord Hastings——"

"Go by all means," said Lord Hastings. "You have earned a rest and should take it. Now I'll see about the discharges at once, and as soon as you receive them, both of you take my advice and go to the United States. That will give me additional time to look around, Jack. And when you get there, stay until I send for you."

"All right, sir," said Jack with a smile. "You're still my superior officer, sir. I must obey your commands."

The three shook hands and Jack and Frank returned to the Essex.



CHAPTER XXX

HOME AT LAST

"Recognize that, Jack?" asked Frank, pointing across the water.

The lads were standing on the forward deck of a great trans-Atlantic liner that was edging its way into New York harbor.

Jack looked in the direction Frank indicated.

"Rather," he said, "although I only saw it once before. That's the Statue of Liberty."

"Right," said Frank, "the emblem of that for which America went to war."

"And the spirit for which we all fought," Jack added.

"Exactly. Well, it's been a long time since I saw her. I'm glad to see her again."

It was morning of the last day of the year 1918.

True to his word, Lord Hastings had been able to secure discharges for the lads within two weeks after the surrender of the German fleet. They accompanied Lord Hastings to London, where they remained some time at his home. Frank, meanwhile, communicated with his father and announced that he would be home soon. He did not give the exact date, for he wished his return to be a surprise. And a surprise he knew it would be, as he now stood on the deck of the incoming liner.

The ship docked a short time later and Jack and Frank went ashore at once. They took a taxi to the Grand Central station, where they caught a fast train for Boston. It was night when they arrived there, but Frank determined to go out to his home in Woburn, ten miles from Boston, at once.

Accordingly they took an elevated train at the South Station. This put them in the North Station ten minutes later, and Frank found that there was a train for Woburn in half an hour.

It was after dark when the lads alighted from the train in the little town of Woburn. Jack had been there with Frank before, when the lads had crossed the Atlantic to New York soon after the United States entered the war. Accordingly, he knew the way from the station to Frank's home almost as well as the latter did himself.

"Know where you are?" asked Frank.

Jack grinned.

"I've been here once," he said. "That should answer that question. You know my memory is pretty good."

"Then you can show me which house I live in," said Frank.

Jack pointed to a house a block away where a dim light showed from beneath a drawn curtain.

"There's the house," he said, "and there appears to be some one home."

"That's father, of course," said Frank. "He seldom goes out in the evening."

The lads quickened their steps and soon were before the house. Quietly they mounted the steps and as quietly tip-toed across the porch. Frank tried the door. It was unlocked.

"Careless of father," he whispered. "I'll have to speak to him about that."

He opened the door gently and the two lads passed within. Frank closed the door noiselessly behind him. The lads dropped their grips silently in the hall and then tip-toed toward a room at the far end, where a light showed.

Keeping out of sight, Frank peered in the door. There, with his back to his son, sat Dr. Chadwick, reading. Frank stepped softly across the room leaving Jack standing, grinning, at the door.

Frank reached out and put both hands across his father's eyes.

Dr. Chadwick's book dropped to the floor and for a moment Frank was afraid he had frightened him by this unceremonious greeting. But Dr. Chadwick's hands reached up and clasped the hands that for the moment blinded him.

"Frank!" he cried, and sprang to his feet.

The next moment father and son were in each other's arms.

Dr. Chadwick held his son off at arm's length, and looked at him.

"You're a sight for sore eyes," he declared. "You look better than you did the last time I saw you, and you were looking fine then."

"Here, Father," said Frank, "is a friend of mine come to see you."

Dr. Chadwick turned and saw Jack in the doorway. He stepped forward and gripped Jack's hand heartily.

"Jack Templeton, eh?" he exclaimed. "I'm glad to see you. And you are Captain Templeton now, I perceive."

Jack blushed.

"They insisted on making me one, sir, and I couldn't refuse," he said.

"Now," said Dr. Chadwick, "you two boys sit right down here and tell me all about yourselves. But first, are you hungry?"

"No, sir," said Frank. "We had dinner on the train just before we reached Boston."

"Then let's hear what you have been doing. I understand you were present at the surrender of the German fleet. Give me some of the details."

Until long after midnight the three sat there, Dr. Chadwick listening eagerly to the tales of his son and the latter's chum. But at last he looked at his watch.

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